Spreading Apprenticeship & Trades Awareness

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, during National Apprenticeship Week, over forty students from Waupun High School and Fond du Lac High School ACE Academy attended an event in the MPTC Conference Center to learn about apprenticeship and career opportunities in the trades.

To help share this information, Jessica Williams from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development was eager to explain all things apprenticeship, and Jon Hirsch from Auer Steel spoke about careers in the trades and HVAC. During the experience, students also toured Culinary Arts, the Automotive Lab, and the Electricity Lab, learning about careers in each area from instructors James Simmers, Frank Corrente, Gus Gustavus, and Josh Cohn. In addition, the high school students got to hear first-hand from four current apprentices in the electrician and maintenance technician fields to learn what motivated each of them to pursue an apprenticeship.  

Another great chance to share information about apprenticeships and careers in the trades took place on Thursday, Dec. 8, on Moraine Park’s West Bend campus. During this event, 13 students from West Bend High School took a break from their project constructing a mini-home in the Building-in-a-Building to get hands-on experience as novice plumbers. This activity, led by Jon Hirsch (Auer Steel), had teams of students construct a sealed copper tube assembly complete with an air valve to test pressure. Bending the copper, proper fitting of joints, and making soldered connections were all part of the activity.

MPTC HVAC instructor, Kevin Niedfeld, and his program students then held a Q&A to share a bit about what drew them to careers in HVAC. Steve Horvath, Associate Dean of Trades shared information on how to become an apprentice as an entry to a career.

“Giving young people a hands-on feel for experiencing a trade is one of the best recruitment tools there is,” Hirsch said.

Taken together, these two events were very successful and proved a great opportunity to share information with high school students who will soon be making decisions about their futures.

Submitted by Stephen Horvath, Associate Dean of Trades

Written by Stephen Horvath